Review #244: 808s & Heartbreak, Kanye West

Karla Clifton
2 min readMar 1, 2022


#244: 808s & Heartbreak, Kanye West

I searched all the reviews I’ve written so far. At least 25 of them include the word “country” in the story or notes. Only 2 have the word “AutoTune” (#204, Kanye’s Graduation; and #208, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III).

Now. The problem with writing about Kanye West is that you feel like you have to talk about what he’s doing in 2022, which is mostly scaring Kim Kardashian, and I just don’t want to do that. I want to talk about AutoTune.

Some of the best songs here are shining AutoTune examples. “Say You Will” turns ‘Tune into art on Hey hey hey hey, as does “Welcome To Heartbreak” (with Kid Cudi!) on Can’t stop having these visions. And “Bad News,” like it or not, is AutoTune at its most exacting best.

Kid Cudi is probably the most interesting feature here, since one year after 808s’ release, Cudi would release the West-produced Man on the Moon: The End of Day. But MY favorite feature is Lil Wayne in “See You In My Nightmares.” The way he says This is farewell? I blush!

“Heartless” is one of the best songs of the aughts and you can’t deny it, because In the night, you hear Ye talk/ The coldest story ever told/Somewhere far along this road/He lost his soul to a woman so heartless. I don’t want to exaggerate, but this song is literally the best argument for AutoTune being a valid musical tool that there is. (My best friend and editor insists that I note that Cher’s “Believe” is the REAL best argument for AutoTune, “not only because it pioneered its stylistic use, but because it’s a bop and a half!”)

Of course, not all of these are clear winners. Kanye has Too Many Songs. Who asked for “RoboCop?” It’s funny I GUESS, but only kind of. Several of them are Cookie Cutter Boring But Still Kind of Pretty, namely “Street Lights” & “Coldest Winter.”

The RS blurb mentions Drake as an heir to the sad-rap kingdom that Kanye draws out the borders to in 808s. I think I might actually have heard Drake weeping along in “Pinocchio Story.”

Good for him. Good for Kanye, Drake, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Andy Hildebrand. I can’t comment on Kanye’s personality because he’s not just a public figure, he’s a person, and I don’t know the first thing about him. All I can say is Thank you for the AutoTune, the songs I’m singing/Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing.

Best Club-Stompers: “Amazing,” “Love Lockdown,” “Paranoid” (NOT to be mistaken for the Black Sabbath song).

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